Spring

Change your Clock, Change your Detector!

When you Spring Ahead this year, consider changing out your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The Hanover Park Fire Department recommends upgrading to the latest model of detectors. Recently, the state of Illinois has changed the law for new detectors to have a ten-year battery life that reduces the need to change out batteries. Consider upgrading your in-home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to the latest models to comply with this new law. 

There are several reasons that can cause your detector to activate. Low battery, replace alarm, smoke or carbon monoxide has been detected. Be sure to familiarize yourself and your family on the meaning of the alarm. 

For more information on the Smoke Detector Act, Click Here.

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Protect What Matters Most

There's no place like home. It is a place to relax, share laughs with family, and enjoy home cooked meals. But did you know that the majority of fire deaths occur in the home? Help everyone in the home to stay safe from fire. Have you considered registering your family with Smart911? This program helps inform public safety of any extra medical needs before we arrive. 

This is a free and confidential service to help first responders when you call 911. Completing a profile will provide first responders with important information to help you when you call 911. The information can include photos of your children, special needs and medical information, current location. This service is appropriate for Premise Alert Program users. You can even register your pets. Click here to register for Smart 911.

The Rundown on Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers typically last about 10-12 years. If you are unsure how old your fire extinguisher is or inherited one in a new property, replacing it is the safest option.

Visually inspect your fire extinguisher to determine if it needs replacement. Confirm that it is placed in a readily accessible area and that it has an up-to-date inspection tag. Next, look for damage or disrepair. The hose, nozzle, handle and locking pin should all be in place and have no cracks or damages. 

The pressure gauge should be in the green section, indicating the fire extinguisher is fully pressurized. Minor damages or factory errors could cause fire extinguishers to release pressure over time, which diminishes its effectiveness in an emergency.

Signs your fire extinguisher should be replaced include:

  • Pressure gauge displays in the yellow or red section. If there is no pressure gauge, the unit should be replaced.
  • Outer damage such as a broken handle, cracked nozzle, split hose or a missing locking pin.
  • Missing inspection and maintenance sticker or tag.
  • The fire extinguisher is more than 10 years old.
  • The fire extinguisher has been used.

Most fire extinguishers can only be used once. Some models are rechargeable and can be serviced by a professional after each use. However, many people do not have access to the equipment necessary to refill and repressurize a fire extinguisher. In that case, the extinguisher must be properly recycled. For additional locations, see the SWANCC site

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Fire Extinguishers Can Be Lifesavers

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives, put out a small fire, or contain the fire until the Fire Department arrives. Unfortunately, portable fire extinguishers have limitations. Do you know the difference in fire extinguishers for the type of fires? Portable fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fires they are designed to extinguish.  There are five basic classifications of fuel and extinguishers, and extinguishers are labeled with either letter-shaped or pictorial symbols that indicate what types of fires they are intended for. 

 

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?

It's easy to remember how to use a fire extinguisher if you can remember the acronym PASS, which stands for PULL, AIM, SQUEEZE and SWEEP.

P = Pull out the safety pin.  A small pin on the device will let you discharge the extinguisher.  You must pull it out to break the tamper seal before moving on to the next step.  Do not pull it until you aim the fire extinguisher correctly.

A = Aim at the base.  You have to aim at the base of the fire because it's the source of the burning. Aiming anywhere else will not be successful.  This is where oxygen adds to the temperature and adds fuel, causing the flames.

S = Squeeze the handle of the extinguisher that the pin was removed from.  This will release the extinguishing agent.  Squeeze handle slowly and evenly so that it works as effectively as possible.

S = Sweeping motion. Sweep the extinguisher hose from side to side as you squeeze.  Keep it pointed at the base of the fire the entire time you sweep until it's safely extinguished.  Cover all of the areas it may spread to as you sweep.

For more information, visit the National Fire Protection Association.

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